Experimental studies of the translocation of plutonium from simulated wound sites in the rat

John Harrison*, A. J. David, J. W. Stather

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Wound contamination with plutonium was simulated in rats by injection into either muscle or subcutaneous tissue. The distribution after the injection of plutonium nitrate indicated that: (i) clearance from the contaminated tissue was due mainly to the movement of soluble complexes of plutonium, principally to the skeleton and liver, but also involved slower movement of polymerized, particulate plutonium to lymph nodes; (ii) clearance of soluble plutonium, and hence the overall rate of clearance, was dependent on the tissue fluid flow through the contaminated tissue and the mass of plutonium deposited; (iii) lymphatic clearance of particulate plutonium resulted in the release of some particles into the circulation and subsequent uptake by the liver. Intramuscular deposition of small plutonium dioxide particles (∼1 nm in diameter) resulted in a greater rate of clearance of plutonium than deposition of the nitrate. Although the solubility of these particles was evident from the level of skeletal uptake of plutonium, a high level of excretion indicated that some plutonium was filtered into the urine in an undissolved form.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)457-472
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1978


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